The second, above and around it, is the psych-ops war raging in the interactive global media, engaged head-on by De Palma in taking central character, Private Angel ‘Sally’ Salazar (Izzy Diaz)’s unexpurgated DV footage (including, centrally, his take on a multiple rape and arson), as his primary point of view. De Palma adds – to disorientating effect – numerous other cyber sources, from internet postings (notably from ‘Just a Soldier’s Wife’ website), video journals, conferences to Al Jazeera-style broadcasts.
Reportedly, De Palma’s primary motor was anger and dismay; the bizarre, bitter tone of ‘Redacted’ runs closer to chaos and self disgust. The film is terrible; possibly, De Palma’s worst-directed movie ever, playing like a ‘swede’ of his own style, indulging all his movie-pack penchants, from sick, slacker comedy to bad amateur dramatics to empty, nasty, wham-bam horror kinetics.
But, despite that, it could well prove his most enduring; a sign of its insensate times, semiotically speaking, which offers an extraordinary, if accidental, vision of ‘visionlessness’ and debasement. War was ever a Kubrick-ian hell-ride, futile, fundamentally unheroic and de-humanising, but now it’s mocked by a mad multimedia accompaniment innocent of all real ethical, moral and humanitarian value.